Experts suggest that India pay for a ‘Grand Bargain’
India’s concern stems from the possibility that Rashid’s latest recommendation of the “grand bargain” to solve Afghanistan’s mammoth problems of security and terrorism may have found fertile ground in the Obama set. Certainly, the central argument in the article draws the same connections between “solving” terrorism in Afghanistan and “solving” Kashmir that Obama has been advocating for a while, including in the same journal some time ago.
In a much quoted article in the esteemed ‘Foreign Affairs’ journal, Rashid and America’s best known Afghanistan expert Barnett Rubin wrote that Pakistan would be persuaded to stop supporting terrorism if India can be persuaded to solve Kashmir, which they argue to be a bigger strategic threat to Pakistan than terrorists on their soil, which “can be controlled”. This is a “grand bargain” that India will not support.
However, sources said, it’s premature to be hyperventilating about such a diplomatic initiative. Indian policymakers believe that once the new US administration takes shape, the realities of the situation will become much clearer to the new Washington. At its worst, India expects to have to do some diplomacy to counter any such perceptions.
The popular leadership (Sheikh Abdulaah refused to even meet Jinnah) of Kashmir in 1947 decided to go with India. The Maharaja of Kashmir decided to go with India. The Kashmiris are Indians. Because a client state of the US is fomenting terrorism – by using about 4000-5000 people does not mean that the Indian State will shove nearly 25 million Kashmiris into Pakistani maws.
The US misadventure into Afghanistan follows the earlier US decision to convert Peshawar into an arms bazaar. The entire Afghan-Pakistani tribal area has become a battle ground for a civil war.
For all these US policy failures, will India(ns) pay a price?
If the US is serious about Pakistan and Afghanistan, let them just leave the sub-continent. Stop playing off one against the other. We can solve our problems.
Pakistan too, needs to grow up. They need to get out of the US orbit.